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Gift wrap supplier International Greetings fell into loss at the interim stage.
Revenues rose from £91.7m to £101m in the six months to September 2008 but a £2.43m profit was turned into a pre-exceptional loss of £1.53m. That excludes £6.25m of additional one-off losses. International Greetings made a full year loss last year.
The bulk of Christmas deliveries have been made and trading is in line with expectations despite the tough UK retail environment. UK sales are flat and the company has taken steps to reduce exposure to retailers in financial difficulties. US sales are 30% ahead.
Net debt and financial liabilities were £132.2m at the end of September 2008. This is a high point for debtors and the borrowings should fall substantially by March 2009.
The restructuring of the UK greetings division should be complete by March 2009. Production has already started in China. Management believes these things will put the company in a good position to benefit from any economic upturn.
Founder and chief executive Nick Fisher is stepping down from the board. Group managing director Paul Fineman is taking over as chief executive.
Shares in International Greetings fell 1.5p to 14.5p each, which values the company at £7.03m.
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